Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Miami Half Marathon - January 25, 2015

For the past 2 years, I have done the Miami Half Marathon. I have to say that this race really ranks up there in my top favorite race courses, and it isn't just because it feels like it is right in my backyard. I love the festivities, I love that there are 35k+ runners at the event (yet it never feels anywhere near that crowded, and certainly doesn't feel as crowded as Disney races which boast the same attendance). And while the Miami Half Marathon is one of my favorite races, we seem to have a love/hate relationship.

In 2013, Miami was my second ever half marathon, it was a week after my first half marathon and would qualify me for half fanatics. I didn't eat a banana before the race, and around mile 10, I got a calf cramp that sent me straight to the ground and almost put me out of commission for the duration of the race. But I still finished with a smile on my face.

In 2014, Miami was my 17th half marathon. I walked almost the entire race because I was in the midst of the horrible foot issue that dominated the greater part of 2 years. It rained on my proverbial parade (and the actual race), and at mile 11, due to a very late start for all corrals, I happened to get stuck behind a drawbridge that was in the upright position for 7-8 minutes. I barely finished that race because my muscles cooled down too much and I could not get motivated again for the last 2 miles. Although they ran out of finisher medals, I finished the race with a huge smile on my face, and vowed to be back.

Obligatory pre-race picture with Seth
In 2015, I planned to go back to this race and finally complete Miami without complications. Complications seem to be the story of my life, so I knew that the likelihood of this happening would be slim to none, but I wanted to go and give it my best.

The morning of the race was cold, but that's really to be expected for that specific race. I started the race with space blankets on to keep me warm, but the first 3/4 of a mile or so through downtown before hitting the MacArthur Causeway had me sweating. I stripped my blanket and immediately regretted it as I climbed the causeway. The wind was whipping across the bridge, and I quickly caught a chill. Thankfully, others had already stripped off layers of clothing so I could grab a sweater (which I could strip again later and would still be donated). As soon as I put on the extra sweater, I felt my tension dissipating and my muscles loosening up. I knew that this was going to be a good race and by the time I reached Miami Beach at mile 4, I knew that I was on track to have one of my best half marathon runs to date.

With Seth, just after finishing
I try not to count my chickens before they hatch during a race, but I couldn't help but get excited when I was looking down at my GPS and realizing that I was pacing faster than I ever had before. I'm no math guru, but when I finally figured out my projected pace, I realized that by mile 6 I was on pace to PR by close to 10 minutes. I ran into my friend Adam who is a coach for the local team in training chapter, and even he recognized how much faster than normal I was pacing. With every step, I tried to reign in the excitement, but I couldn't help myself. I felt myself picking up pace even more, pushing each stride. I felt my lungs burning and my muscles screaming.

And obviously, that leads me to the part right before mile marker 8, where I got started with horrible exercise induced abdominal cramping. The cramping was so bad that no amount of lamaze style recovery breathing was going to get them to subside. I was doubled over in pain at one point, and Adam showed up again out of nowhere checking in on me. I felt like a fool. I had no real reason to push it that hard. I was already running faster than normal, I was already on track... but my brain wouldn't let me accept good enough with where I was at... I forced this on myself by pushing further and faster and harder than normal.

It took me just over a mile of walking (and stopping every 50 yards or so) to get the cramping to subside. but by the time that it did, my dream of a PR was out the window. My mood was shot. I couldn't motivate myself to run anymore, and wound up finishing at a nice brisk walking pace. But I finished.

This was half marathon #33, and I finished with a smile on my face.

And hey, if I want to shoot for a PR at Miami again, there's always next year!

Gun - 4:05:05
Chip - 3:29:11
OA - 12549/13,155
Sex - 6,303/6,760
AG 1,047/1,081

1 comment:

  1. That looks like some nice bling:)
    No fun about the cramping, but hey you finished and its awesome you didn't let it keep you from it! Great job, and that is awesome its a huge race that hasn't lost its way and still feels like a smaller one!